For the first time in its history, the Modern Pentathlon World Cup Series is heading to Sassari, Italy, located on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. An Olympic-caliber field will be on hand with 18 out of the top 20 men and nine out of the top 10 women vying for valuable World Cup Series points to qualify for the World Cup Final, which has bearing on Olympic qualification spots. The World Cup competition begins on Thursday, April 14, and runs through Sunday, April 17.
The U.S. will be represented by 2008 Olympians Margaux Isaksen (Fayetteville, Ark.), Sam Sacksen (Somerset, Pa.) and Eli Bremer (Monument, Colo.), as well as fellow National Team members Samantha Achterberg (Littleton, Colo.), Dennis Bowsher (Dallas, Texas), Mickey Kelly (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Rendy Lynn Opdycke (Mercer Island, Wash.) and Nathan Schrimsher (Roswell, N.M.). Achterberg is replacing Suzanne Stettinius (Parkton, Md.) at this event as Stettinius recovers from a broken collarbone suffered in a training accident. This week's World Cup squad is led by USA Pentathlon Coach Janusz Peciak.
Athletes competing in this weekend's World Cup will also get their second chance to compete with the new environmentally-friendly laser shooting pistols. Laser shooting made a successful World Cup Series debut at World Cup #1 in Rancho Mirage, Calif., and will be used in all UIPM international competitions and the 2012 London Olympic Games.
This week's World Cup will also host the first mixed relay of the season. The mixed relay made it's World Championships debut in 2010.
The UIPM will broadcast the finals of this week's World Cup live on Pentathlon TV at www.pentathlon.org on April 16 & 17. The broadcast will feature highlights of the fencing and swimming events as well as live coverage of the riding and combined event.
The Italian World Cup is the second in a series of five events in the coming six months which will culminate in the World Cup final to be held in London, July 9-10.
Thursday, April 14 Women's Qualification Competition
Friday, April 15 Men's Qualification Competition
Saturday, April 16 Women's Individual Final
Sunday, April 17 Men's Individual Final